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Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2010)

NETWORK
CNN

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01:00:00

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SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

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Comcast Cable

TUNER
Port 1234

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 21, San Bruno 15, San Francisco 9, Plavix 8, The City 5, Dan 5, America 4, Florida 4, California 4, United States 3, Ahold 3, Alan Grayson 3, Bruno 2, Reggie Kumar 2, Sergeo Campos 2, Dan Simon 2, Kim 2, Grayson 2, Glenview 2, New York 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2010)  

    September 10, 2010
    2:00 - 3:00am EDT  

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>> how many fire departments are on the scene right now? >> i would venture between 150 and 200 right now. we have outside resources. >> the number of homes, please, the number of people affected, casualties? >> i thought i did that. >> they can't hear. i can do that for you in just a structures have been severely damaged. 120 more have fire damage. we know we have evacuated -- >> tragedy has fallen on our city. i'd like to welcome our viewers across the united states and abroad. what we just learned from the fire chief haynes there, he explained to us there was an explosion in the area, that units responded. he said it looked like a broken
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gas line. they don't know that for sure. 53 homes he said have been is a vees veerl damaged. 120 have been fire damaged. one confirmed fatality at this stage. seven people have been injured. they won't know until a little later, they'll have to wait until friday afternoon for a full search to see if there are casualties. let's listen to what the mayor said a little earlier. >> terrible terrible tragedy has fallen on our city this afternoon. our main concern making sure our citizens are safe. we're trying to do that right now, outreach. we have red croshere. we're interviewing as many people as we can from the affected area. >> all right, listening there to san bruno mayor jim ruane. i want to go to dan simon now who is there at the scene, and
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dan, you've been following this. it's extraordinary when you look at these aerial shots of what's happening on the ground that there's been only one confirmed death. >> yeah, i mean, look this happened just after 6:00 local time, so in all honesty, we talked to firefighters and they believe that there are going to be more fatalities. it's all but certain in their mind. we were at the scene a short while ago. we just moved to the press conference location. i did hear some of what that chief was saying, let me give you some perspective of what it looked like when i got there. we got to the area near ground zero, everything in front of us was levelled. and we know that there is this major explosion. the gas company is saying there was a gas line rupture. we don't know the cause of that. we know it was an enormous explosion, and it caused concrete in the area to be thrown at least 100 yards. pieces of concrete were strewn
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about 37 and the fire was so intense, the heat was so intense, there were cars not even really near that scene that had sort of melted plastic on them, and it was just an unbelievable sight. it was utter devastation. we've seen lots of homes in the pat that have been brought down by wildfires, and this sort resembles that. right now we're hearing 50 homes or so destroyed or heavily damaged. at this point, firefighters taking a defensive note, trying to do their best to keep these flames from spreading. we know that the winds over there, i saw with my own eyes, the winds are pretty intense. so, you know, they're trying to keep those embers from landing on other homes or at least those homes catching on fire from the embers. we know there's all kinds of debris in the air flying all over the place. it's a very, very active scene. at this point no cause as to why
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that gas line was ruptured. >> dan. a critical point, connie jackson the city manager made. she said that people have been asked, people in that area have been asked to report to the city park in person. and that is so that they can ensure all residents have been fully accounted for. and what other efforts are there to make sure that process is followed through. >> it's really a daunting task when you think about it. they were asking everyone in that area to announce themselves. i guess there's no other way to put it. they want people to call a phone number that they gave a short while ago at this press conference. or they want people to show up at a certain shelter and just say, look, this is my address, i'm okay. these are the members of my family. they're okay. and that's how they're going to assess i suppose who is safe and
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who is unaccounted for. when you think about that, it's a complicated process, to get the message out, and the media is trying to do so. and b, just telling people to do that, and having them do that is going to be sort of a challenge. the bottom line is this, and we know this from covering other disasters, until they go into these homes, these levelled homes one by one and look for bodies -- there's no other way to put it -- they're not going to know how many people died in this fire. >> that is a big problem here. i have that number for people in the local area, if anyone in that area is listening, 616-7180 is the number to call. if you've been evacuated from your home, you need to get in contact with local authorities. 616-7180, so residents can be
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fully accounted for, it's critical. dan, they did mention that 50% of this fire was contained. certainly from the pictures we're seeing, doesn't look. that doesn't look like that, but what are you seeing on the ground? >> well, they're aggressively fighting this fire. they say it's 50% contained i'll take their word for it, but no question that it's still largely out of control. and we flow that there are a lot of resources there, we saw lots of fire crews still taking out their hoses, looking for other spot fires. but the bottom line is, this is going to be raging all night long. and tomorrow they're going to have to be putting out the hot 13 spots, doing everything they can to keep this fire from spreading. everywhere you are seeing these flying embers going through the sky. winds whipping up debris. until these winds die down, or
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until they feel like they have a good handle on this thing. i tell you what, the resources will be plenty here. >> indeed. dan simon reporting from the scene, the fires in san bruno. thanks so much, dan. we'll check in with you a little later, of course. pacific gas and electric has released a statement on the explosion. it says this, and i am quoting directly "our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this terrible situation. the priority right now is to help make the area safe. we have crews on the scene and are working with emergency officials" though a cause has yet to be determined, we know that a pg&e gas transmission line was ruptured. if it is ultimately determined that we were responsible for the cause of the incident we will take accountability. witnesses say they didn't know if they were seeing an explosion or a plane crash. this video kaz sent in by sergeo
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campos. he says he was driving his car when he heard a loud boom and the ground shook. sergeo joins us on the line now from san bruno, california, with more. thank you for talking to us at this time. very difficult for people in that area. go through with a step by step, what you saw, what you witnessed there. >> well, i was actually driving up to school. as i was driving up i felt the ground shake and heard a loud boom. right before i turned on the street to get to my school, i saw the flames. i pulled over to see if i could help anybody, because there were people running around. i was three blocks from the fire, so we were all confused, we didn't know whether to run toward the fire and help people, or to runway from the explosion. >> and did you talk to people who had lost their homes?
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>> i talked to people around there and they were all confused. they were like, we heard an airplane fly by. so it's probably an airplane, and definitely the ongoing rumbling sound. it got us thinking it was an airplane. >> how long, sergeo did you stay in the area? >> i stayed about for one or two hours. >> and what did you do in that time? >> i was just there waiting to get home, because all the intersections were closed up. and my car, actually, it's still there. i had to leave my car since all the intersections were closed. >> in a sense you were evacuated as well along with residents in the area? >> yes, yes, i was. >> and what -- when you first got there, just go over what you were thinking. the other people there thought this was a plane crash. were you pretty much on the same page? >> yeah, i mean, i was really
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scared. we just heard the explosion, we heard the rumbling sounds. and we lived it down the street from the airport. we immediately -- it was a plane crash. the flames were huge and just from the three blocks away from there, we could feel the fire. >> all right. ireporter sergeo campos thank you so much for sharing your iwitness story there. we appreciate it. jennifer delgado has been taking a look at the weather conditions in the area. just extraordinary when you look at these pictures. it is comforting to know there is some form of containment here. the weather conditions are not helping. >> the weather could are be better. everyone's wondering where is san bruno. it's toward the south of san francisco many as i show you on google earth, it's going to point out to you, this area very heavily populated. as i zoom in more, here's the area we're talking about, san bruno. very populated.
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we're dealing with the wind coming out of the west, that is that onshore flow. it's bringing in a lot of moisture. you can see where it's located. as i show you on our current conditions, right now we're dealing with the relative humidity right about 75% humidity. that's helping provide a little moisture in the air. the winds are strong for this hour, sustained at 27 kilometers and we still could see some gusts. through the night as well as through tomorrow afternoon up to about 35 coming in from the west. so that personally could allow that to spread a bit more over toward the east. i want to point out to you, though, if we look at the satellite. notice for california, nothing happening there. we are dry and no rain in the forecast for today, tomorrow or the next several days ahead. rosemary? >> thanks, jennifer, appreciate that. we will continue to follow this breaking news story, of course, and bring you updates as we get more information in here. but for now, viewers in the
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if you're just joining us, the breaking news that pastor terry jones called off koran burning this weekend. that's after saying a deal had been reached with the backers of the 9/11 center in new york. the deal apparently never was. a lot of questions tonight, including this one. joining us now paul begala, and
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jeffrey toobin. we debated for a long time today whether or not to even cover this story. and then, of course, it took all these bizarre turns and it became, well, we do cover this story. this is sort one those agonizing things where this guy is clearly just an extremist. he represents a few dozen people, he makes money by selling furniture on ebay. is this just the media making him into something? >> you had to cover the story today. the president's talking about it, governor petraeus. the mistake we made is to give him publicity in the first place. >> we didn't talk about him until general petraeus came out and said, this is a risk to u.s. forces. >> that certainly -- >> that's when the coverage blew up. >> right, but to give him attention. i mean, we would never consider covering some crazy person on
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the street, yelling about muslims. >> like the west borough baptist church people, i wouldn't put on television? >> correct. this guy is no different, he's a bigot, a lunatic, he should not have gotten national attention. that is what led to this crazy spiral we're still on. >> david, gary, what do you make of all this? >> i think we've all been sucked in involuntarily into a freak show. this fellow is not just a lunatic. he's a jerk. he has been playing around with american lives. he is a publicity hound. he does live off the oxygen of media coverage. but as i learn more about it, i can see the dilemma the media organizations like cnn have faced. it is true, general petraeus is acting in the best interest of the country, trying to protect lives, and spoke out about this, it naturally prompted the media to start looking at it. i do think we have now given him too much attention. and i do think that if he
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decides to burn korans, yes, you have to have a camera there to see if there's any violence, but i think we ought to downplay this. >> i don't think anybody should show -- i mean, i certainly would not air images of this guy burning korans. i don't think anybody should. >> well, you know -- if al jazeera does that and we get a lot of protests around the world, i guarantee you we'll get sucked in again. i think the faster we can turn this guy's microphones off and turn off the lights, the better. he is living off the publicity and i can't tell you how much -- this is so -- this is damaging to the country now. i don't think -- i think it was unwise for the president to get as deeply involved as he has. i think it did give more legitimacy to this guy. but here we are and i think it's time now to find a way to shut off the microphones. >> and zuhdi jasser, you were opposed to building that mosque and islamic center near ground zero, although obviously they have the right under the constitution. what do you make, though, of this pastor trying to insert himself into that?
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it seems like the most craven attempt to extend his 15 minutes of, you know, surreal fame. >> yeah, exactly. this guy and his congregation are a spec of hate and fear mongering, and they basically are exploiting the situation. the lesson to learn here is that we, as a nation, will never negotiate with terrorists or those that use extreme means of hate to try to manipulate the discourse. and i think, similarly, we've seen -- and i think it's not just the media's fault. this guy put this issue on facebook. it then got translated to different websites and the islamist media. so i think the teaching thing from a reformist standpoint is that we're in an information war. we need to start to take the offense and say we're going to advocate for ideas of freedom and liberty and stand behind the constitution even though we may pay a price for it. just as when they had videos of our soldiers, god forbid, being
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beheaded. all of that is an information war we have yet to begin as americans. >> yet, paul, controlling information -- information has become democratized. anybody can put anything on the web. this guy will videotape -- this pastor will probably videotape it, put it on the web and it will be out there. >> that's the thing. i'm trying to move back, who commented when, whether we should have covered it. it's been an interesting conversation, but i think the reason general petraeus commented on it, which is why cnn covered it, is because he had to. it's because as dr. jasser says, it was getting out in the blood stream through other ways. when gergen and i were working in the white house, if cnn didn't cover it, it doesn't happen. now it does. this guy understands that. he gives crazy religious fanatics a bad name but knows how to manipulate the media. i suspect even paris hilton thinks he's a publicity whore. i don't think it's very easy call, actually.
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the real responsibility morally is with this preacher. he is the man who is inciting hate and should be held accountable for it. >> everyone stick around. we'll continue this discussion we have to take a quick break. we have a lot more to cover. stick around. we'll be right back. a great d. oh, it's not just today. with our free loyalty program, you earn great stuff like accident forgiveness and bigger discounts just by staying with us. oh! ooh! so, what you're saying is, it gets even better with age. oh! tell me we're still talking about insurance. rewarding loyalty. now, that's progressive. call or click today. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box.
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just want to show you some breaking news that's happening in san bruno, south of san francisco. huge fire. apparently a gas line has been broken. a number of homes are at risk,
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if not already -- what was that? a dozen homes, i'm just getting new information right now. we're trying to get detail, talk to someone on the scene. we'll continue to follow this and we'll break in throughout this next hour as we're getting these pictures. extraordinary images out of california tonight. we're going to continue right now talking about the breaking news, a florida preacher calling off plans, then possibly calling them back on, to burn korans to mark nine years since the 9/11 attacks. somehow possibly only in pastor terry jones' mind, all this morphed into some kind of compromise with the imam who wants to build an islamic center and mosque two blocks from the ground zero site. a lot of this, david, though, when it first started to be mentioned, the idea that this pastor wanted to do this, it got coverage based on -- in stories about islamaphobia around the
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united states. it got linked to demonstrations murfreesboro, tennessee, an arson against a proposal to expand an islamic center. it was sort of seen in that light before people really started to focus on this one guy. where does this end? if he now goes back on his word, do you think he's just trying to save face as the imam earlier in the program said? >> i don't think he knows what the hell he's doing anderson. he just wants to be on the air. he is not a rational human being. he is driven by forces we don't understand. and i think it was perfectly legitimate to cover him in terms of the islamaphobia. i do think he is representative of a fever that we see in the country that needs to be contained, understood, contained and we have to talk our way through it. i would hope as we get copycats, they get less attention. i do think he got to a place where he was getting a lot of interviews and people were sort of putting him on. we went live today with it. i know that was a hard decision.
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it was a very hard decision for cnn to decide what to do when he went live today to claim this, make this preposterous claim that he reached an agreement with the imam. i'm sure people are wondering, did we overplay this? these are hard, hard questions for all of us. some guy is standing on a street corner holding a stick of dynamite with a fuse lit. you sort of feel you have to go look at that. he is manipulating us. >> let's move on from him. zuhdi jasser, the imam from the proposed islam center in new york has said this has become a national security issue whether or not this islamic center proceeds, whether it proceeds forward, whether or not it's in that space or not. do you buy that, that this is now a national security issue? >> well, i mean, i think it's over simplistic and irresponsible for the imam to focus on that element.
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it may be true on the battlefield for petraeus. for us, as muslims, if you truly are a reformer, you will not negotiate with terrorists. if we're truly going to stand for freedom and liberty, the reason my family left syria and the reason i served in the navy for 11 years was we learned as americans, we don't let terrorists tell us what to do. we won't be threatened into submission and we'll stand by our principles no matter what. if he believes his mosque is real -- that was one of my problems with a lot of his statements yesterday. i constantly get the sense that the only lens he sees things through is a narcissistic spiritual lens of islam and not through ones just as americans. that we have our faith within us, we're under god but ground zero is not about islam or teaching americans lessons. 71% of america is not islamaphobes. we've built over 2,000 mosques in this country without a problem. yes, there was some controversy in some of the ones we built, but america is not islamaphobic. >> i think there's a mistake that we've been making in
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talking about the mosque, in focusing too much on how will people react in al qaeda, taliban. who will use it for propaganda purposes? we do not know and we should not care. these are evil, crazy people. >> they will use just about anything that happens for propaganda. >> exactly. they will use anything in any direction. >> his point isn't just that it's the extremists, but it will make those who maybe are not extremists at this point overseas or who are on the fence in afghanistan, it will push them toward extremism. >> maybe. how can we predict how reactions will play overseas in these lands and among people we barely understand and know about? we have to be consistent with our values. we have to respect our law. and, frankly, let the chips fall where they may. this idea of predicting responses is a fool's game. >> paul? >> yeah, in fact, imam rauf was
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on very strong, all-american grounds if he had stayed in his lane, which is as a spiritual leader, a community leader -- and if he simply had stayed there, he is not an expert on national security. he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about on that. he certainly has a powerful argument in the greatest american tradition of religious freedom, religious liberty, religious tolerance. communities have come here from all around the world and built their houses of worship. there was a time in american history when catholic churches were being burned, a convent was burned in massachusetts, church was burned in philadelphia. my church, we overcame that prejudice and i think muslims will here as well. that would have been a far more resident resonant argument with most americans. the latest pictures we have from a fire in southern california. also ahead, president obama, is he a political liability for democrats in the mid-term election? the answer to that question may
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depend on the candidates and where they live. we'll look at raw politics and talk to david frum and paul begala about that. speaking of raw politics, look at this. >> we're tired of business as usual. drastic times require what? drastic measures, yes! who said that? >> dispatch from planet politics, probably one of the strangest stump speeches you've ever heard, just ahead. lie low, get the lay of the land. but then autoblog.com calls your interior lexus quiet. and automobile magazine goes comparing you to a cadillac. ♪ so much for the new kid fitting in with the rest of the class. the all new chevrolet cruze. starting under $17,000. get used to more. ♪
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pictures of a very intense fire burning in san bruno, south of san francisco. not far from san francisco international airport. we have someone on the phone with the very latest information, kelly huston with california emergency management. what do we know about this fire? how big is it? when did it start? >> just before 7:00 it started. we don't know exactly what sparked the fire. there was first reports of maybe an aircraft down but the faa and san francisco international airport says they don't have any reports of missing aircraft or any downed aircraft. as you can see, the fames are being fueled by something. there was a loud explosion being reported by witnesses and just dozens of homes on fire. several cars on fire in the area. there's speculation it may be a high pressure gas line. crews are trying to assess how many injuries they have there and what they're going to do to contain the flames. >> it looks like there is a source of those flames, as you mention, in one area. we're also seeing simmering flames elsewhere. it almost looks like a forest
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fire. are those smaller fires -- have the flames been picked up by the wind from that main area? >> yeah. one of their biggest challenges right now is the flame -- or is the wind that's fueling the fire and also spreading the fire as well. the firefighters are worried about the potential spread of this by the source, which could be this gas line or whatever it is that's fueling that fire. in addition, the amount of embers falling on to adjacent homes, catching those homes on fire. it's still very much an unfolding incident as we speak. we've got aircraft and helicopters from cal fire in the area, literally dropping retardant on homes to stop them from catching fire and an assessment, how many people may be injured, where those people are, and trying to do an accounting of those folks. >> i assume you have folks on the ground. are they battling the blaze on the ground as well? we saw a helicopter pass through. these flames are huge.
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do you have people on the ground able to fight it? >> the local fire departments are there, trying to figure out what is the best strategy to fight this. of course, we do have folks in the aircraft, dropping retardant and water. there's a full-on effort there, hundreds of fires and people there just trying to get control of this. like i said, it's still an unfolding incident. we just don't know exactly what sparked this. but we're trying to stop it. >> how residential an area is this? it's hard to tell -- >> it's a pretty residential area. it's along highway 280, if you're familiar with where that's at, along skyline boulevard, south of san francisco, about two miles east of san francisco -- i'm sorry, two miles west of san francisco international airport. so, it's, as you can see by the picture, a pretty populated area and lots of homes in that area. >> any reports right now of injuries or anything? >> we've heard some reports from folks that there are injuries there, there are people being treated but there's no way at this point to be able to give you a count. it's still unfolding. >> right. best of luck to you and to all those fighting the fire. we wish you the best. thank you for being with us, kelly.
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>> thank you. following another breaking story, isha sesay joins us with another 360 news bulletin. we're following a story in philadelphia, where it's believed a woman was injured at a kraft food plant. it's believed three people have been shot. police with conducting an investigation at the scene. iran said it will release one of three american hikers it's holding. sarah may be freed on saturday at the end of the holy month of ramadan. shore and two companions were arrested more than a year ago after allegedly straying into iran territory while hiking in iraq. iran has accused them of being spies. 83 miners trapped in chile. in it, they describe what their daily routines are like and explain how supplies are distributed on an as-needed basis. the miners have been trapped for more than a month now, anderson,
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and they may be there until december. it's a terrible situation. but we continue to follow that one. >> yeah, unbelievable. they're now able to get them a lot of supplies and stuff through various tubes, which is hard to believe. >> i know, but, you know -- it's hard to believe, they just want alcohol and cigarettes. >> really, is that what they said? >> apparently they sent back a crate of peaches and said, no, we want alcohol and gets. we need to get this thing going. anyway they said, no, they're getting meatballs and pasta. >> oh, well. they can dream. >> they can. >> i'll talk to you later. politics under pressure. florida congressman alan grayson's rough and tumble fight to keep his seat. he is not the only democrat in the fight of his political life, of course. breaking news tonight, a court ruling that could put president obama on the spot, a judge ruling don't ask, don't tell unconstitutional.
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when you approach things from a different perspective, tell unconstitutional.ouon
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as the mid-term elections draw closer, we're periodically giving you inside access to the inner workings of key campaigns. trying to take you behind the scenes.
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tonight alan grayson, first-term democrat in florida. although he is only a freshman, he has repeatedly and harshly criticized republicans. listen. >> if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this. die quickly. i'm the only member of congress who actually worked as an economist, and this lobby effort is trying to teach me about economics opinion an acronym that's used to apply to situations like this, stfu. i don't think i can say that on air but you can figure out what that means. when he talks blood is dripping. i understand what the president is doing. people attack him and he turns the other cheek like any good muslim would do. >> tonight an up close look at congressman grayson's campaign, here is randi kaye. >> reporter: this is the war room at alan grayson's headquarters, grayson is a democrat, brash and combative former lawyer for whistle blowers and now a congressman
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running for his second term in orlando, florida. his staff just got word a new attack ad against him was coming. >> cut $500 billion from medicare. >> they're spewing false claims about cutting medicare. >> reporter: his campaign manager quickly shifts into damage control. what are you hearing about this particular ad that could be coming? >> this particular ad is trying to distort the congressman's record on senior issues when, in fact, he has been one of the biggest proponents and biggest deliverers for seniors in the district. >> reporter: the group behind the attack describes itself as the conservative alternative to the aarp. >> nasty name calling. >> a lot of retirees live in orlando and they tend to vote. >> water going on to that house, it doesn't seem to be working. can you see the flames continue to rise. as the camera zooms in, you see the firefighters on the bottom, and then you can't see the sky, because it's a complete fireball
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engulfing those multiple homes in the foreground. this is what happened when the gas cap -- when the gas leak was not capped yet, and the gas was flowing. steady streams flames coming out. fire crews trying to do their best. hard to get a handle on these fires. >> thanks for that, kim. >> we're approaching six solid hours now where the fire crews have been out there trying to knock down these flames. american red cross setting up evacuation centers to try to help families evacuated from the affected area. 53 homes confirmed destroyed. 123 damaged and those numbers are likely to climb. >> we heard from the city manager as we look at pictures -- video that came in earlier from the fire. right-hand side you see a helicopter making a water drop there. left-hand side, you see a home engulfed in flames. the city manager in this news
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conference said their main concern is locating residents and they're directing people to the veteran's memorial recreation center. they want people to go there and say, okay, here, this is who i am, this is where i live. so that they can establish who is where. they also want you to call 650-616-7180. that's their emergency line, so they can do the same thing. the city of san bruno has been declared a state of emergency, or at least this area has, which is going to allow more funds to come in in the aftermath of all this. as pam mentioned, we have some brutal days ahead. i mean, firefighters have their work cut out for them. and then the rebuilding for all of these people who lost their homes in this area. >> yeah, 50% containment, here we are approaching midnight now, 50% contained on the fire. one of the other things that's been acknowledged in some of the interviews is that despite the actual area where the homes are,
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the terrain surrounding the homes is difficult to navigate. it's an urban fire, but it's also an area that's a wooded area that's been affected by all of this. it's a combination of challenges for fire crews out there on the line, in addition to the fact as we mentioned one of the water mains had been compromised. so for a time there, they were also dealing with low water pressure with these intense flames as they tried to fight the fire. look at the video on the right, look at the smoke engulfing the fire ladder. >> yep. >> you can see the kind of risks for the fire crews. >> it's just incredible. >> they battle on, despite the odds, because look at that. that picture is such a telling story, you see that stream of water coming out, seeming to have no effect at all. the fire truck, the firefighters are also in an area of risk, yet they march on in terms of trying to do their job. >> we heard from the fire chief at the beginning of the hour, let's hear what he had to say. >> we know we have over 100 in the evacuation centers.
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hopefully most those residents got out to the evacuation centers. we don't have -- we have not been able to get into the area for search. >> describe the difficulties you had tonight assessing the situation, and figuring out exactly what your strategy was. >> can you speak up, please? >> our problem was, obviously it was a high-pressure gas line, we could not get close to the line until they could shut down the high-powered line. currently they are shutting down distribution lines, we still have residual in the gas lines, we're at the last briefing we were not able to access the area fully. >> is the fire still burning? >> one at a time. >> fires are still burning. west flank was our hardest challenge. we are holding, right now, we are confident we will hold the fire to the existing perimeter. >> what has pg&e told you? >> they were very helpful in addressing the situation.
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the distribution is a different system, they had to get resources out here to make that closure. >> could you give us a little space here. the question is, how many people evacuated? >> all i know at this time, there are 100 people at our evacuation center. >> is therefully w anyway of kn how long those people not in the immediate fire area will have to stay out of their homes? >> i can't answer that question until we are able to assess the homes. >> how widespread is the shutoff of gasoline and electricity services? >> we don't know. >> can you estimate? >> that would be a pg&e question. i could only guesstimate and not give you an accurate answer. >> are they going to be here to talk to us? >> that's up to you. >> is the fire contained? >> the fire is being contained at this point. >> do you have a percentage? >> at the briefing it was 50%
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contained. we're in a good holding pattern right now, i don't think we'll have much extension. >> what is your particular concern tonight? >> well, actually getting access so we can secure, make sure the gas is totally shut down, and we have our crews can go in and do some mopup and cleanup of the area. >> mayor, what is the city have to do in the coming days and weeks? >> the city's going to try to coordinate as much as we can to help the residents. the hotline will be set up. we already told you about that, the city manager. we're going to try to set up some informational tables if we can. probably at city hall for insurance companies, things like that. so we can get quick relief for these individuals that are affected. >> i know at this time. i have no idea. all we know, it was down at the end of glenview, the bottom of glenview seems to be where the first hole we noticed was. and -- but it was a lot -- >> what kind of help are you
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getting? >> at this point we have declared a disaster, a local disaster in the city of san bruno which has been confirmed through the state. and we will be accessing federal resources to the extent that they are available through that process. >> federal disaster declaration? >> at this point doir not know. >> the governor is in asia, have you talked to the governor's office at all? >> we did not. the lieutenant governor certified the proclamation. >> we don't have great lighting in the area, and we're going to have to go through -- it's a messy scene down there, for the safety of the firefighters and any public around, safety personnel, that's going to be priority number one. >> will it be daylight before you really get in there to see what happened? >> until we get down there -- i hope not. we'll do initial investigations tonight, i hope. but realistically we're be probably tomorrow morning. >> are the evacuations finished now, or could there be more depending on circumstances?
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>> you could be correct, there could be more. we have the most effective resources. it doesn't mean something else couldn't happen. >> all right, so that was the news conference that was held at the beginning of the hour talking about this fire essentially in a nutshell, 53 homes destroyed. 120 damaged. one person confirmed dead at this point. it covers ten acres and only 50% contained. the big concern is gas. making sure that all the gas is out of there, before they go back in. >> and also, of course, accounting for the people in that community is a big concern as well. as you know, they've asked the media to please encourage people to register, to register with the veteran's memorial recreational center in san bruno in crystal springs or to call the emergency number at
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650-616-7180. we heard an interview earlier with a woman who was still looking for her parents at this hour. certainly distraught, gloria martinez. they live in that community. she was distraught not having been able to get in touch with him throughout the evening. that's why san bruno officials want people from the san bruno neighborhood to register so they can get a full accounting. >> let's go to reggie kumar, who joins us on the phone from st. francis hospital. reggie? >> reporter: four people critically burned in the san bruno fire were taken to the burn center here in san francisco. you can see some of the ambulances behind me. one of the patients are stable, three are critical but stable. some of the patients could undergo surgery overnight, we do not know what time that will take place. hospital officials tell me they are not expecting any more patients from the fire at this time. in san francisco, reggie kumar,
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kron 4 news. >> we'd like to economic in with christine conley on the phone with us. >> reporter: i'm at the veteran's memorial recreational center this is the area where fire victims are supposed to come. i see a lot of people lining up here, they have hundreds of cots here at the center, ready for people. another amazing thing i see here, a bunch of spontaneous donations brought in from people in the neighborhood. blankets. food, all types of things. red cross telling us, while that is very nice for people to be coming and dropping it off, they are not set up to take donations here at the recreation center. they're telling people, do not bring your donations here, instead, go to a charitable organization if you'd like. another thing that they have up here is a sign informing people about the website,
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safeandwell.org. they're telling people to go on there, log in and let people know, this is where i am, i'm at this shelter, i'm staying here, so friends and family know where you are. it's a good website to keep in touch with people. at this point they can't give us an idea exactly how many people have shown up, but i am seeing a few people here in front of me, standing in line, and trying to register. back to you in the studio. >> let's go -- christine, before you go. it's safeandwell.org? okay, she's already off the line. safeandwell.org is another place where san bruno officials would like you to register. you can register in person at the veteran's memorial recreation center, which is on city parkway and crystal springs. again, the city is trying to get an accurate accounting of the people who have been affected by this, loved ones who are looking
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for one another, and that recreation center is open now with hundreds of cots set up for those who may be in need of a place to stay. >> we've got some new video coming in right now, you can see the power line on fire. the house behind it on fire. fire crews trying to put out the fire. this has been going on for hours now. one house after another. we just got this video in, and you can see just really a firestorm. this is how people described it. and it is what you see right there. firefighters doing whatever they can. there's fire all around them. >> again, we should inform folks that all of the san bruno schools will be closed tomorrow as city officials and residents try to come to grips with this tragedy, which is unfolding and will be continuing throughout the night with fire crews on the scene. there are still fires going on at this hour, even though we are approaching midnight now. still fires burning, six hours into this tragedy in san bruno.
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they will -- they're going to need all of their energy and resources to just deal with this, so the schools will be closed tomorrow, that will also give them a chance to get that accounting of residents that they've been worried about throughout the evening. let's go to dan kerman live near the scene. >> reporter: hi, heather, we are now at the end of sequoia where we've been most of the night looking down in the valley, where the fire has been burning and continues to burn. what's different now is, we are seeing different kinds of plumes of smoke. we've been keeping our eyes on the winds for much of the night, and they were really kicking up the last several hours, in the last half hour, winds have really died down, which is going to help firefighters, as you saw all throughout the night, we saw a big gust of smoke moving into the easterly direction. we're seeing bits and pieces of smoke in various areas. if we push in, can you see a little bit of that, these are most likely at homes where fire crews are putting a lot of water
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on these homes, and again, it's a great indication that this fire is still far from out. in the meantime, fire trucks continue staging all throughout the perimeter of this fire. you see the fire truck right in front of us right now, that's in front of some homes that have not burned. but they are scattered throughout this entire neighborhood. the ones that are burning, the ones that have burned and the ones that still have yet to burn and hopefully will not burn. that's the latest from here, heather, pam? >> thank you for that, dan. let's go to our web producer, kimberly sakamoto. we just heard about this website, safeandwell.org. >> the red cross makes it easy to go to the website. you can list yourself as safe and well or search through all the registrants, the people who have gone on in to let people know that they are safe, and they are fine. if you have escaped from the
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fires in san bruno, go on this website, list yourself as safe and well, and hopefully your family, go on higher to check and make sure to see if your family member or friend has already listed themselves. perhaps their fine, you can't get ahold of them because the phone lines are down, and prance they didn't take their cell phone when they were trying to escape the fires. >> you know people are frantic right now, trying to get ahold their loved ones. i clicked on the part that says search registrants. you can't get on right now. people are desperately trying to get ahold of each other. >> not only across the bay area, people across the country as well. we saw that people all over the country were trying to figure out if their friends and family members were okay on twitter. thanks, kim. we will check back with you later. >> we have other pictures we want to show you. you can see on the right there, look at that. that's so intense, you can see the power of these flames. this was house after house after house that looked that way.